California Standard Residential Lease Agreement Template

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The California Standard Lease Agreement is a form contract which contains specific terms that a Landlord and Tenant agree to when a property (or part of a property) is rented to that Tenant. This agreement assumes that within a given time period of time a certain amount of currency will be given to the Landlord by the Tenant in exchange for the right to maintain a residence on the property. This type of contract will define the installments this money should be paid in. Generally speaking, most Tenants will be required to pay monthly installments of an equal amount by the first of the month however, this can be altered so long as it is defined in the lease before both parties sign it. This contract will also define such items as security, maintenance, and amenities (if any).

All of the terms the must be entered in this agreement should be reviewed very carefully as they will define the responsibilities and obligations each party has in order to benefit from the arrangement and to remain in adherence to the law. Thus, it is imperative that each signing party be sure they can uphold their obligations to the other party, the property, and the signed agreement. Generally, for contracts that have the potential of impacting someone’s life and finances as greatly as one that defines a leased property, it is often highly recommended to have an attorney review and explain the terms. While this may sound expensive, having a clear understanding of the terms mentioned within will usually help both parties avoid any costly lawsuits that may be the result of misconstruing what either have agreed to.

Laws & Guide – Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities (PDF)

How to Write

Step 1 – The first area of this lease will require the Landlord’s Full Name be entered. The area immediately following requires the Tenant(s) Full Name, then Enter the Property Address for the space being rented.

Step 2 – The first section, “Rental Amount,” will need the Date the agreement commences to be entered. The next space will require the monthly rent amount to be entered and the calendar date of the month it is due must be entered in the following available space. The final space in this paragraph will need the address where the rent may be brought or mailed to entered.

Step 3 – The “Term” section will define whether the lease is a Month-to-Month or a Fixed Term. If it is a Month-to-Month, check the appropriate box. If it is a Fixed Term, check the second box and enter the date the lease will terminate

Step 4 – The “Security Deposits” section will need the amount a Landlord requires to hold in case of damages to be entered.

Step 5 – In “Initial Payment” will define the move in amount a Tenant must provide a Landlord prior to taking up residence on the rented property. The first space will be the First Month’s rent amount, the second space requires the Security Deposit amount to be entered, and the third space in this paragraph will be the sum of these two numbers.

Step 6 – The fifth section, or “Occupants,” will need the Full Names of all those who will be allowed to establish a residence on the property but are not signing the lease. If there will be an additional charge to the rent amount for each additional person, enter it in the space provided in the final paragraph of this section.

Step 7 – Enter the utilities and services a Tenant will NOT be responsible for paying in the “Utilities” paragraph.

Step 8 – The “Parking” paragraph will have three items. This will document whether a Tenant is afforded a parking space for renting the property. If not, then check the first box. If so, then check the second box and enter the designated space number.

Step 9 – The “Furnishings” paragraph will either confirm that a Tenant may install certain appliances or forbid a Tenant from installing or using such defined appliances. If the Tenant is not allowed bring in a foreign washer, dryer, or dishwasher then check the box provided.

Step 10 – Section 24, “Notices,” should have an address where a Landlord may receive a written notice from the Tenant entered.

Step 11 – Any conditions or obligations that both parties have agreed to for the sake of this contract but has not been named thus far in the document should be entered in the “Additional Terms” section.

Step 12 – The final section, Section 31, is titled “Entire Agreement.” Here the Landlord/Agent must provide a signature and signature date which will bind them to the terms of the agreement. The Tenant will also have to provide his/her signature and signature date for the same purpose.